11 Quakes Hit Southern Iran

Early Saturday morning (at approximately 07 GMT), an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8, struck in Southern Iran, as measured by the USGS. With the given depth of 44 km there were no fatalities expected, but it was said that a few people could have been injured. At the time it was argued that if the depth were incorrect, and the earthquake were at a depth of 10km, then 0 to 100 fatalities might be expected. There are only 5 villages within 15 km of the quake's epicenter and no sizable town in the proximity. Later in the day, IRNA confirmed the magnitude of the quake via Reuters as measuring 6.0 on the Richter scale and having hit Iran's southern province of Hormuzgan but initally there were no reports of casualties or damage. IRNA said the quake shook areas near the Gulf island of Qeshm off Iran's south coast. Qeshm is the biggest island in the Gulf and is a free-trade zone with a population of about 120,000.

At about 14 GMT, an aid agency on the ground which was monitoring the situation cited reports released by the local Government & Red Crescent and stated that there wasn't a death toll at the time but some buildings had been damaged and it appeared that the epicentre was in the sea. Later in the evening, after inter-agency statements, the aid monitor filed the following report:

11 earthquakes have hit the Hormozgan province between the first quake today morning till 13:52 GMT with magnitudes of 5.4 to 3.1 on Richter scale. The government officials and IRCS have not reported any casualties but few deaths and considerable damage in the area is expected. No confirmation of the possible dimension of damages in the area has provided but according to the media, communications was partly cut off. The earthquakes occurred in the Fin district of Hormozgan province near the Hormoz strait at the Persian Gulf. Fortunately the epicenter of the strongest hit was inside the ocean which has reduced the effects. Since the majority of affected people were aware of the disaster, they were able to take the necessary safety precautions. Basic relief assistance is currently being provided by the local IRCS while the local authorities are assessing the situation. The total population of Fin district is 39,000 and consists of 3 towns and 210 villages.


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